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Happy New Year, friends and followers! I had an incredible 2016 and I hope you did as well.  I’m starting my monthly Random Thoughts post off with a bang for 2017 so let’s get to it.

1. 2016 BC Highlights

Despite a lot of complaints about how awful 2016 was in general, I had a kick ass year. I’m ready to keep up the hustle and am looking forward to an even more fruitful 2017 and hope that my readers do the same.

Everyone seems to be complaining about 2016 but I had a tremendous year. This video clip is from my photoshoot with @jpatrickphoto for @scottsdalehealth. In the past 12 months, I… – Turned 40 years old looking pretty jacked – Paid off my mortgage – Set a boatload of PRs, including: • hip thrust 800 x 1, 725 x 2, 675 x 5, 585 x 10, 495 x 15, 405 x 20 • bench press 345 x 1, 275 x 10 • military press 225 x 2, 205 x 5, 185 x 8 • incline press 305 x 1, 285 x 3 • chin up 14 reps @ 240lbs • supinated pulldown 245 x 10 • chest supported row 100s x 12 • sumo deadlift 585 x 2, 615 x 1 • back squat 445 x 1, 405 x 3 • front squat 345 x 1 • leg press 810 x 10 – Received my PhD Diploma and a copy of my Doctoral Thesis – Started up Strong by Bret and my Glute Lab Seminars – Published 10 studies in peer-reviewed journals – Presented at 18 conferences/seminars in 5 different countries – Appeared on the cover of Scottsdale Health Magazine – Had my Glute Lab named as a top 20 gym in the U.S. by Men’s Health Magazine – Helped spread the popularity of hip thrusts and frog pumps – Hung out and collaborated with a bunch of total badasses, including @drnadolsky, @benbrunotraining, @bjgaddour, @biolayne, @cemcondition83, @nick_tumminello, @soheefit, @jesshilgenberg, @bradschoenfeldphd, @thealanaragon, @helms3dmj, @james.krieger, @chrisabeardsley, and Andrew Vigotsky – Acquired 100K+ followers on Instagram and Facebook (113K and 112K, respectively) – Ate a shit ton of IHOP omelets, pancakes, bacon, and French toast – Spent a month in San Diego and loved every minute of it! – Accumulated a ton of pilot EMG data involving the glutes for future studies – Went to the zoo a bunch of times – Listened to loud ass music and watched 300 endlessly – Took my beard to a whole new level of awesomeness I don't plan on letting up or slowing down so here's hoping for an equally awesome 2017! Special thanks to my assistant @maleahjohnston for keeping everything rolling. #gluteguy #glutelab

A video posted by Bret Contreras, PhD (@bretcontreras1) on

2. Glute Lab Seminar 2/11/2017

My Glute Lab Seminars have been a huge success and I’ve enjoyed meeting many of my followers and sharing the latest in cutting edge glute research. The next two seminars are scheduled for January 14, 2017 and February 11, 2017. The January date has been sold out but there are 5 spots remaining for February’s event. The cost to reserve a seat is $399.00.

About the seminar:

In the morning, I will lecture on the science of glute training and program design. You will receive a PDF of the slideshow, which I update each month to include all the latest research. All of my past attendees receive a new pdf every time it is updated.

After a catered lunch, we will then have a learn-by-doing practical where I will showcase the mechanics, cueing, variations, and progressions of glute bridges, hip thrusts, squats, deadlifts, back extensions, split squats, hip abduction, and more.

To finish the day, we’ll have a Q and A, we’ll take some fun pictures, and you’ll receive some free gifts (Ares Sports Rub and Squat Sponge stepped up and sent me some merchandise). You will leave much more confident and knowledgeable about your glute training and strength training in general. My attendees are always happy with their decision to attend.

If you’d like to sign up for this event or get a bit more information, please contact Maleah at

3. New EMG Data Testing

Folks, I am thrilled to announce that I recently have had the opportunity to conduct new EMG experiments at a well-equipped lab at ASU. I’ve been running these experiments on myself and a colleague and can’t wait to share my findings with you. Stay tuned.

4. Do Squats = Massive Legs?

YouTube Fitness God Omar Isuf has an impressive following and his channel hosts an even more impressive array of videos on a variety of training topics. Omar and I teamed up to discuss whether or not a diet of squats alone is optimal for training all the muscles of the lower body or if you should indeed do more than “just squat”.

If you’re appreciate science and want evidence that supports what I say in the video, see here:

5. The Men’s Health Podcast with BJ Gaddour

Check out THIS podcast I did with BJ Gaddour, the Digital Fitness Director for Men’s Health magazine. BJ is a super cool (and super jacked) dude and I think you’ll enjoy listening to us chat about glutes, squats, deadlifts, and more.

6. Special Message for AUT Grads

I graduated from AUT with my PhD in Sports Science in 2015. Having this distinction has opened up many doors for me and I created this video message to inspire the current crop of AUT grads to get out there, kick ass, and succeed.

The Glute Guy on his PhD from AUT

Bret Contreras PhD a.k.a. The Glute Guy recently graduated with a PhD from AUT in Strength and Conditioning. He has a message for AUT graduates and also explains why the qualification is so important to him

Posted by AUT – Auckland University of Technology on Sunday, December 18, 2016


7. Most Liked IG Post of All Time

If you have been following me recently you know that I am a hyooge fan of the frog pump exercise. As this post has received more likes than any other post on my profile, methinks it’s safe to say you guys are really into frog glutes.

8. The Guy’s Guide To Great Glutes –

Listen up, gents! Glute training is not just for women. The ladies also appreciate a nice set of glutes and if you aren’t incorporating glute training in your weekly routine then you are missing a serious opportunity to up your sex appeal. In THIS article I elaborate on this topic with Senior Content Editor, Bill Geiger.

Alright, alright, alright

9. The Absolute Best Way to Build Quads

In THIS T-Nation round up, a variety of industry pro’s share their best tips for building monster quads. My best research-based advice? Stick to moderate loads if building mass is your goal.

10. Joint Forces: What do joints really feel? – Andrew Vigotsky

My former intern Andrew has recently started blogging. Andrew is one of the smartest guys I know and a biomechanics whiz so you can bet this blog will be a stellar read for us scientific types or anyone interested in biomechanics and sports science. You can read the first blog post HERE and subscribe for updates HERE.

11. Another Incredible Glute Transformation

Take a look at this stunning 8-month glute transformation sent to me by Australian IFBB Bikini Pro, Amelia Dione. Amelia followed the programming in my book, Strong Curves, and still adheres to my training philosophies today and her results are nothing short of show stopping.

Just doing my part in bettering the world's booties two cheeks at a time. Thanks for spreading the glute gospel Amelia! #Repost @amelia_dione with @repostapp ・・・ Today I would like to express a huge amount of gratitude for @bretcontreras1 … after training for 2yrs prior to this comp on the left no matter what I did I couldn't get my glutes to grow, I'd perform tonnes of deep wide squats, leg press with feet wide and high, deep lunges etc with minimal glute activation and growth. . @roxy92 was a huge inspiration to me at the time (and still is) I seen she was performing a Squat, Hip Thrust & Deadlift Challenge on T-Nation. I found the article and the author who was @bretcontreras1 so I decided to do more research on him, this was when I purchased his 🍑 STRONG CURVES book 🍑 . For 8 months I took myself through his lower body routine in Strong Curves (with my previous fantastic coach sorting out my upper body & nutrition). The book is based around 4 key movements that will take you from a pancake to having a gorgeous booty 😍 I feel so grateful having found his methods, even though my training structure (sets, reps, exercise order, and movement pattern focus) has changed with my current amazing coach I still perform his fundamentals and as @bretcontreras1 says the book is just the beginning, over time you customise the program yourself. . Ladies it's Christmas do yourself a favour and invest in yourself and buy Strong Curves hard copy book by @bretcontreras1 and end the pancake booty suffering hehe, coaches if you don't have knowledge on this get on board and train the female physique like it should be trained, spread the word 💋💋💋 #strongcurves #bretcontreras1 #gluteguy

A photo posted by Bret Contreras, PhD (@bretcontreras1) on

12. Chris Beardsley – The SCR Infographic King

I’ve mentioned this before but if you would like to stay current on the latest in strength and conditioning research then be sure to follow Chris Beardsley on Instagram. Chris creates and shares new infographics daily so this is a terrific opportunity to learn from the best.

13. – James Krieger

Kudos to my man James Krieger on an excellent revamp of his membership site, James is a published scientist, author, and speaker with a passion for helping others reach their body transformation goals. He has a lot of great free content on the site so definitely pop over at the link and see what Weightology has to offer.

14. Strength Coaches Opinions of Physical Therapists – My Rehab Expert

The relationship between physical therapist and strength coach is at it’s best a symbiotic relationship that works together to improve the health and performance of the athlete. Sadly, this is not often the case. Check out THIS blog post to see what a handful of top coaches have to say about what separates the industry’s top professionals from the pack.

Image via

15. Personal Training Quarterly, 3.4

NSCA members – check out Personal Training Quarterly, 3.4. This volume focuses on successful business strategies for growing your personal training business with an assortment of topics ranging from liability waivers to converting your online followers to long term clients.  You can view the latest issue HERE.

16. Top 100 Articles of 2016

THIS is a year-end Top 100 list that I think many of my readers will find intriguing. Altmetrics tracks and collates the discussion of scholarly articles and data online. Each year they compile a list of the Top 100 pieces that received the most attention and this year’s list boasts a vast collection of topics pertinent to the health and fitness industry.


17. Arnold Schwarzenegger – Gym Motivation – Motivational Speech

Friends, check out his incredibly inspiring video. I hope this year you take this message to heart and follow Arnold’s advice.

Alright, this wraps up what I have to share with you for now. Be on the lookout for my next newsletter and stay well, fitness peeps!



  • CHRIS BAIATA says:

    Thanks, Bret, this list was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed it and got some great links to follow and read from doing so. Keep creating the fantastic content you do, look forward to meeting you one of these days at a seminar. That photoshoot you did looked fun, looking forward to mine at the end of summer this year!

  • Frank R Mateus jr says:

    Thanks Bret.Thankyou for everything you do.Your words of knowledge and inspiration have helped me in my own personal journey.Sincerely..Frank R Mateusjr

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